Gabba Gabba Hey

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"Gabba Gabba Hey" is a catchphrase associated with the punk rock band the Ramones. The phrase is included in the song "Pinhead" (1977), which contains the lyrics: "Gabba gabba, we accept you, we accept you, one of us." The song ends with: "Gabba gabba hey, gabba gabba hey!..."


The phrase comes from a scene in the 1932 motion picture Freaks, in which the title characters chant the line "Gooble, gobble, we accept her, we accept her, one of us, one of us!" (The Ramones saw Freaks at an art house cinema on a rare day off when an outdoor event they were to perform at was canceled due to bad weather.)[citation needed] One of Freaks main characters is a microcephalic, or "pinhead," named Schlitzie.

In Allan Arkush's film, Rock 'n' Roll High School, during a Ramones concert at The Roxy, a character in a Schlitzie mask appears on stage carrying a large sign with the phrase "Gabba Gabba Hey." Afterwards, the band felt it necessary to the live experience,[1] and a roadie, usually Mitch "Bubbles" Keller, would appear on stage in a pinhead mask, hand the sign to Joey Ramone, and perform a dance on stage, colloquially referred to as the "jerk dance." In later years, Keller updated the "pinhead" with a brightly colored, mismatched, polka-dotted dress sewn together for him by an employee of the Ritz.[citation needed]

Sometimes celebrity guests (such as Eddie Vedder) would don the mask and/or costume on stage. The pinhead would usually leave after the song was finished, but sometimes would appear for promotional purposes, such as live performances on television or music videos. To this day, the pinhead, along with the Ramones Presidential Seal is an emblematic symbol of the band and appears on many items of Ramones merchandising.

In 1991, a Ramones tribute album called Gabba Gabba Hey was released.

In other media[edit]



  • In a 1994 Christmas episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, "A Space Ghost Christmas", Zorak replaces the chorus of "Deck the Halls" (traditionally "fa la la la la") with "gabba gabba hey".
  • In The Simpsons episode "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)" (season 8, episode 9, 1997), Homer Simpson eats some "Guatemalan insanity peppers" that cause him to hallucinate. When running to Ned Flanders for help, Homer begins to hallucinate, and one of the phrases that Ned says is "Gabba gabba gabba gabba hey".
  • The Simpsons episode "C.E. D'oh" (season 14, episode 15, 2003) features the following dialogue: "So my husband goes to a bar every night. Whoop dee doo. Who gives a bibble? Gabba-gabba hey."
  • In Eureka episode "E=MC...?" (season 2, episode 8, 2007), Sheriff Jack Carter and a veterinary scientist are talking to a chicken farmer about cloned chicken, and the vet states that a protein is a GABA blocker (pronounced "GABBA"). The Sheriff says something like, "It’s a what blocker?" Vet: "Gabba!" Sheriff: "Gabba ... hey!"
  • The title of children's show Yo Gabba Gabba!, which debuted in 2007, pays homage to "Gabba Gabba Hey! [2]

Video games[edit]

  • In the 1995 computer game Descent, typing the phrase "gabbagabbahey" on the keyboard during gameplay unlocks the cheat mode, after which other cheat codes (infinite weapons, infinite health, et cetera) could be entered. In the game's sequel, Descent II, typing "gabbagabbahey" lowers a player's health and shield to 1%.[3] In both games, typing the cheat code results in the computer announcer's voice admonishing the player with: "Cheater!" The B key by default drops a proximity mine that would shortly arm and explode if the player is still nearby, so use of the code without remapping the controls is perilous.[4]
  • In-game characters are customizable in the music video game Rock Band 2. One of the hair styles available is named "Gabba Gabba Hair," and is reminiscent of the Ramones' distinctive hair style.
  • In the computer game Sabrina The Teenage Witch: Spellbound, Aunt Zelda and a baby are hypnotized by a TV programme and repeat the phrase "Gabba Gabba Hey! Uh oh!" in one of the game's chapters


  • In the Marvel comic book The Sensational She-Hulk, the letters page is called "Gamma Gamma Hey," after the gamma radiation-irradiated blood that caused She-Hulk's initial transformation.
  • Humphry Slocombe, a San Francisco ice cream parlor, named one of their most popular flavors "Gabba Gabba Hey."[5]
  • Ottawa, Canada has a concert space and a record store in the City Centre known as Gabba Hey (formerly known as Capital Rehearsal Studios) It has become a one-stop shop for many in Ottawa’s music community. Owner and operator Luke Martin attached the moniker Gabba Hey, when he started hosting concerts, “for no particular reason except Capital Rehearsal Studios sounds a little cold for a place to have a party,” he says. “More than anything, it’s just to make it sound cool".[6]
  • If one uses Siri on the iPhone to identify a song performed by the Ramones after identifying the track Siri adds "Gabba gabba hey."


  1. ^ Melnicks, Monte A. On the Road with the Ramones (Bobcat Books, 2007)
  2. ^ Keveney, Bill (October 21, 2008). "'Yo Gabba Gabba!' is monstrous fun for kids, adults". USA Today. Retrieved September 8, 2010. 
  3. ^ Descent 2 Interactive Demo Version Cheats
  4. ^ Descent Cheats
  5. ^ Palmer, Tamara. "The Mystery Spot: Who Serves This Colorful Plate?", SF Weekly "Foodie" blog (Apr. 18, 2011). Accessed Sept. 28, 2011.
  6. ^